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Managed SpeechThe Roberts Court's First Amendment$
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Gregory P. Magarian

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190466794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190466794.001.0001

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Fair and Balanced

Fair and Balanced

Regulations of Political Dissent and Commercial Profit

(p.33) Chapter 2 Fair and Balanced
Managed Speech

Gregory P. Magarian

Oxford University Press

This chapter covers the more common First Amendment technique of balancing speech interests against government regulatory interests. Here the Roberts Court has reached divergent outcomes in two major decisions about the First Amendment rights of political dissenters. Caustic anti-LGBT protesters won the right to protest near military funerals. On the other hand, peace activists were denied the right to teach foreign terrorist groups about non-violent conflict resolution. This chapter shows that the peace activists’ loss, with its sweeping deference to the government’s national security concerns, reaches further and matters more than the funeral protesters’ victory. A striking contrast to the Court’s lack of concern for serious political dissent emerges in this chapter’s analysis of a decision that invokes the First Amendment to protect commercial data mining.

Keywords:   U.S. Supreme Court, Roberts Court, First Amendment, free speech, private speech, First Amendment balancing, political dissent, funeral protests, terrorism, commercial speech

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